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Long gone are the days where business accounting was done by hand or on multiple Excel spreadsheets. Cloud-based accounting software has transformed the way contractors do their accounts, ensuring a hassle-free accounting experience, minimising the number of mistakes and preventing them from spending precious time doing the books.

And, with the rise of rules such as Making Tax Digital, cloud-based accounting software is not just something that can make your life a lot easier, it’s also become obligatory. You can learn more about this game-changing regulation by reading our article “Making Tax Digital: What is It and What Do You Need to Know?

At Gorilla Accounting, we offer FreeAgent bookkeeping software as part of our accounting package, which you will be able to fully use when you choose us as your accounting partners. But why did we choose FreeAgent and what makes this service so different from other accounting programmes? More importantly, how exactly can you benefit from it?

What is FreeAgent Bookkeeping Software?

This online accountancy software is trusted by more than 60,000 contractors, freelancers and SMEs – and for good reason.

As a cloud-based service, FreeAgent allows you to easily manage your business accounts from anywhere and ensures your information is safe at all times. Launched in 2007, this software was born because its founders (who were working as freelancers) realised that small businesses and contractors found it hard to manage their finances; they wished to help individuals to grow their business without having to stress about doing their accounts. FreeAgent rose in popularity very quickly and, in 2018, it was bought by the Royal Banks of Scotland for £53 million.

Over the years, this bookkeeping software has won many industry awards, from Best Accounting Software Provider 2018 to Best B2B Technology Product/Service 2018. Not only does this prove that FreeAgent is a reliable and precise accounting tool, but it can also give you confidence (and peace of mind) that your financial information and your accounts are always in good hands.

FreeAgent is perfect for a variety of businesses but is especially suited for service and project-based ones, which is ideal for contractors and freelancers everywhere. If you’re looking to have greater control over your finances without having to forego the support of an accountant, then FreeAgent may be the best solution for you. So, don’t worry about going at it alone; Gorilla Accounting will assist you every step of the way and help you to grow as a contractor.

How Can You Benefit from FreeAgent Bookkeeping Software?

As a contractor, doing your accounts on spreadsheets is no longer feasible after the introduction of Making Tax Digital. Whether you’re just starting out or have many years of experience, it’s important that you can choose a trustworthy accounting software that will help you run your business.

One of the main features of the service, which is also a big part of why people choose FreeAgent, is that you can run your business from anywhere, no matter where you are, be it sending off an invoice or checking your cash flow. You don’t have to be tied down to a specific location – the software works on any device, so just pick up your laptop, tablet or mobile and check business reports or run payroll at any time, for example.

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FreeAgent also allows for hands-free accounting. This means that you only need to upload your bank statements, receipts, invoices and expenses and the software will do everything else for you. You’ll get automatic real-time business accounts without having to calculate them yourself. The service also allows for automated bank feeds to upload your bank transactions on a daily basis and lets you reconcile and categorise your transactions with just a few clicks.

The time-saving features of this bookkeeping service make it a fantastic choice for busy contractors. You can send personalised invoices as well and set the payment to be automatically chased. Easy and hassle-free. This frees up more time for your dedicated accountant to offer tailored tax advice and a personal service. In addition, you don’t even need to spend time sending us your financial information, given that we will also have access to it via FreeAgent. At Gorilla Accounting, we’ll be able to log in, review your information and provide you with relevant and up-to-date advice.

Your invoicing will be sped up with features such as the ability to include unbilled items to the project (like expenses, for example), the opportunity to easily convert an estimate or quote into an invoice, the ability to schedule recurring payment reminders, a PayPal integration that helps you get paid faster, and even the chance to send automatic thank-you emails after payments.

You can also track the time spent on a project, automatically download bank transactions, and check your accounts while on the go. You have the ability to claim mileage and view your contracts, which is especially important for contractors.

The real-time 24/7 view that FreeAgent offers is invaluable for any contractor, whether you’re just starting out or you have many years of experience already. No matter which device you’re using, you will always be able to get a real-time picture of your business’ finances, especially as this bookkeeping software is compatible with more than 4,000 bank feeds.

FreeAgent is incredibly easy to use. All you need is an internet connection and you’ll have access to your accounts no matter the time of day or where you are – and even the device you’re currently using. Additionally, you don’t have to download, update or install anything, and can put a stop to using multiple spreadsheets to store your data. Setting your FreeAgent account is also easy. Enter your business details, set up a date, choose your currency, select your time zone, link to your bank account and add sales tax details.

This cloud-based tool can help you to improve the efficiency of your business with just a few simple buttons; in fact, according to FreeAgent, the tool has actually allowed users to see an 83% increase in their records. You can easily and quickly explain transactions, automatically generate dividends and run reports. You may also benefit from features such as free training, onboarding and marketing support, as well as the ability to promote your business to new clients (and even easily move existing clients to the online platform).

Tracking your expenses has never been easier either. FreeAgent allows you to create new expenses and bills, you can even attach photos of receipts if you need it. Because this accounting tool has been designed to facilitate every aspect of your business, you can also benefit from a grouping feature, as your expenses can be clustered together depending on currency.

FreeAgent offers many other benefits that are too numerous to list in their entirety, but which include:

  • Creating professional-looking documents, such as invoices
  • Generating as many timesheet reports as needed
  • Submitting your VAT return directly to HMRC
  • Logging in to your account through your mobile
  • Estimating your corporation tax as you go along
  • Keeping track of your dividends by tax year as the owner of a limited company
  • Creating profit-and-loss reports to help you be aware of your incomings and outgoings
  • Recording all your time with a built-in stopwatch
  • Filling and filing your self-assessment tax return directly to HMRC
  • A bird’s eye view of your income, expenses and profit
  • Monitoring your cash flow at a glance
  • Knowing exactly when your tax bills are due
  • The ability to support electronic statements in several formats: OFX, QIF and many CSV ones
  • Not restricting the number of transactions you can process
  • The capability of being used on both Mac and PC

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Worried About Security?

As contractor accountants, we understand that you may be hesitant about having all of your business’ financial information online. However, because FreeAgent is a cloud-based software, you don’t have to worry about the safety of your data. On the contrary, this bookkeeping software can help you to relax while you focus on growing your business.

After all, your information is securely transferred to FreeAgent’s backup servers several times an hour. This also means that, even if your computer crashes, for example, you don’t need to worry about losing important information. When it comes to the nitty-gritty, FreeAgent encrypts all transactions with 256-bit SSL technology (the same that banks use to protect data), ensuring that both your personal and financial information are protected with multiple layers of security.

The servers where your information is stored are placed in some of the most secure data centres in the country under 24/7 security. This includes security personnel and HD CCTV imagery. Only a few authorised individuals are allowed in the centres, and they need to provide two forms of authentication to enter. FreeAgent’s data centres are ISO 27001 certified, further proof that the company takes your security very seriously.

You can also control who sees what – and at no extra cost, since everything is included in the same package. Allowing your accountant to check your financial figures, for instance, takes only a few seconds. Your privacy is in safe hands as well. FreeAgent doesn’t sell, rent or share information with third parties, unless those absolutely necessary to the smooth running of your accounts.

You are the owner of your data, so you can export all of your FreeAgent information at any time.

Gorilla Accounting and FreeAgent

As we mentioned above, you can very easily allow us to have access to your FreeAgent information if you so wish. This way, we can use your data to provide the best possible accounting service – you won’t have to send us a huge pile of financial documents, such as invoices or receipts, given that we’ll be able to see all the information you input throughout the year.

At Gorilla Accounting, we always want to make your life easier, and our bookkeeping software is a great way to go about it. Simple and easy to use, as well as secure, you’ll be able to quickly update your accounts or automatically send crucial information to HMRC and then put your finances out of your mind; this way, you can concentrate on the day-to-day running of your business instead.

All of this, combined with the fact that FreeAgent has been voted the UK’s number one accounting software for small business, gives us – and you – the confidence that you’re getting only the best. It also guarantees that you’re benefiting from the latest in technology; with Making Tax Digital here, you want to ensure you’re following all the new regulations to perfection. As FreeAgent has a very impressive 99.99% uptime score, you can rest assured the software will always be there for you when you need it.

We offer many other services at Gorilla Accounting, including a contractor tax calculator that allows you to calculate your take-home pay, so talk to us and we’ll be happy to help with anything you require.